The power of a symbol and art

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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The power of a symbol and art

Post by JamesN. »

I've been thinking a lot about the "Statue of Liberty" and "Ellis Island" lately with all the fear-mongering taking place concerning the refugee and immigrant population seeking asylum since the Paris bombing. And I find it very ironic that this unique French-American statue as a symbol is such a powerful argument against such notions as a reminder of what the human spirit is capable of if there is a will to do so.

Perhaps it might seem unworkable concerning terrorism; but Joseph Campbell said on more than one occasion that any idea of a new myth would have to include everyone. And if we turn our backs on them and walk away; what does that say about who we are; (and given the same circumstances would they do the same for us)?

Emma Lazarus’ Famous Poem

A poem by Emma Lazarus is graven on a tablet

within the pedestal on which the statue stands.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne